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Lineup Shakeup Tonight

One day after criticizing his team's effort and execution during a 5-3 loss to Buffalo, interim Coach Bruce Boudreau shuffled his forward lines in an attempt to spark the Caps tonight against the Bolts.

Here's the lineup:

Ovechkin-Backstrom-Pettinger (back together again)
Fleischmann-Nylander-Semin (ditto)
Brashear-Kozlov-Laich (interesting, indeed)

Motzko, Erskine and Eminger are scratched. Clark (strained groin muscle) and Boyd Gordon (broken right hand) did not make the trip and remain on IR.


By Tarik El-Bashir  |  December 15, 2007; 6:00 PM ET
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Next: Day Off In Detroit


Now that's different???

But, Bruce is the boss, and I'm confident he knows what he's doing.

Posted by: Matt | December 15, 2007 6:20 PM | Report abuse

We are beginning to see why Kozlov has traveled so much.

Posted by: Oldfan | December 15, 2007 6:45 PM | Report abuse

Tarik, I know you have a million questions you would like to pose the coach, but may I suggest another one?

Coach, can you explain the reasons behind the line changes? - or something to that effect. I will never question his decision, but I am curious, and I would think the fans will learn a lot more on how the team functions. Some of us will be really surprise at the rationale behind some of the movements.

Posted by: Joe | December 15, 2007 6:49 PM | Report abuse

Good observation, Oldfan.

Look for Petty to get back into it tonight in a big way. He seems to play 100% better when he's out there with Ovechkin. This is going to be a great game.

Posted by: Jordan | December 15, 2007 7:19 PM | Report abuse

Kozlov wasn't productive centering the first line with OV and now he's on the third with Brash...? What next, centering the press box?

Hopefully we get an inspired effort out of goal tonight.

Posted by: Steve R | December 15, 2007 7:29 PM | Report abuse

Wow that is very interesting....I am just happy Jurcina is playing tonight....I am liking this accountability thing, lets keep it going. So far I trust BB totally, I just want to see Frodo and Sam abused tonight! Go Jurcina!!!

Posted by: Puddin_an_Semin | December 15, 2007 7:34 PM | Report abuse

Joe -- I actually do ask about the reasons for the changes. I'll try to post some of the answers in the future.

Posted by: Tarik | December 15, 2007 7:37 PM | Report abuse

Aside from the one brain fart, not a bad period.

Way to go Flash!

Posted by: Steve R | December 15, 2007 8:22 PM | Report abuse

So can we all agree that Q. Laing can stay up here?

Posted by: Raber | December 15, 2007 8:34 PM | Report abuse

Laing has been impressive. Hopefully he does stay in the bigs.

Posted by: Steve R | December 15, 2007 9:02 PM | Report abuse

OK, I'm officially convinced - we're looking at a different team now. As proof, here's the stat of the night:

OV ends his point scoring streak and we still won.

Posted by: Raber | December 15, 2007 9:57 PM | Report abuse

Before the Flash goal, the 1st period was just as bad as the 3rd period last night. I'm happy that they picked it up.

And Ovie made such a good move, it's just too bad that he hit the post. It's been a while since we've seen him make a move -- he usually just shoots.

I'm happy that they kept this from becoming a losing streak. Very happy.

Posted by: DrinkingPartner | December 15, 2007 10:17 PM | Report abuse

Nice win! 'Let's be determined and turn it around again'...right on BB. On to Detroit. Interchangeable parts. Who's playing with who? Let the opposing scouts figure it out. Kolzig or Johnny? Hmmmm...Johnny.

Posted by: DarrylHockey | December 15, 2007 10:57 PM | Report abuse

We won on the road, which by definition is a beautiful win. And solid defenisve play to close things out.

So who are we taking points from next?

Posted by: austinsteve | December 15, 2007 10:57 PM | Report abuse

Overall, good game. It certainly wasn't the prettiest, but hey, winning doesn't have to be pretty it just has to put two points in the W column. It's a shame Ovie lost his streak, but more importantly is good that the boys stepped up and rebounded from last night's meltdown. I cannot wait for the Detroit game on Monday. You know that our guys are going to come out pumped and ready to play because they are in one of the original six cities, they're playing a dominating team and they are looking to make a name and identity for themselves (the Caps that is). It will be a fun 2 1/2 hours and I can honestly say that for the first time in forever I'm looking forward to Monday!

Posted by: Mitch | December 15, 2007 10:57 PM | Report abuse

Johnson was rusty but you can't blame him. Glad to see he held the fort and got the win. Hopefully BB rotates him through more now since he has seen Johnny win a few.

Win at The Joe!

Posted by: BernieWolfeFan | December 15, 2007 10:59 PM | Report abuse

BIG win on the road, plus with Bruce we don't have to mail in Monday's game against Detroit. He's going to take them up there and go for a win. Love it Love it Love it.

Please remove the interim label now.


Posted by: Oneal | December 15, 2007 11:12 PM | Report abuse

that would be great if johnson started - kolzig made a remark something like "i have to sit for two days and stew about this" - he was going to do that anyway! he really should sit two GAMES. that would be great - he needs some fire on his buttocks. who said that he is untouchable when playing horribly?

the great thing about what i'm watching now is, you can see when the caps turn it up and the other team gets pissed that the caps won't just lie down like they are "supposed" to do... love it! also, coming back when trailing - BIG PLUS!

steckel seems to be getting more tenacious - bradley, too...

Posted by: 7734yeah | December 15, 2007 11:18 PM | Report abuse

tarik -

p.s. heard you on xm radio - cool! i don't know how long you've been doing that, but that rocks - i want to hear more caps - who cares about the rest of the NHL - heh heh

Posted by: 7734yeah | December 15, 2007 11:20 PM | Report abuse

I agree that lines shouldn't be as important playing a consistent system.

Taking that further, now that we are playing better Ovie will probably see more success playing within the system a little more. Our scoring lately indicates he doesn't have to do it all by himself like he has in the past.

Posted by: austinsteve | December 15, 2007 11:25 PM | Report abuse

Nice to see other players contribute to the scoring. It looked like OV had 3 Bolts on him every time he tried to carry the puck.

Posted by: Steve R | December 15, 2007 11:41 PM | Report abuse

Ducks dump McDonald to Blues to free up cap space. Didn't see that one coming, thought for sure that a D would get moved.

Posted by: Steve R | December 15, 2007 11:51 PM | Report abuse

Why Semin did not play in the 3rd period


Posted by: Carl | December 16, 2007 12:04 AM | Report abuse

A win - and a few regular contributors have no comment?

Posted by: Anonymous | December 16, 2007 12:12 AM | Report abuse

could you tell me if Semin is injure
please I need an answer

Posted by: Carl | December 16, 2007 12:13 AM | Report abuse

Tarik, didn't see Alex Semin much in the third was he benched or hurt.????

Posted by: billd | December 16, 2007 1:02 AM | Report abuse

CAPS are no longer the worst team in the NHL.


Posted by: LFR | December 16, 2007 1:36 AM | Report abuse

Just arrived - we won! Cool :D

How was the game? Watching the highlights but I prefer my fellow bloggers opinions.
I saw that we had a 5-3 chance but didn't score. Pothier goal was a beauty. The two goals of Tampa... is it me or Jonhson was a bit weak on those? How did he do anyway?

I think AO should practice penalty shots a bit lol... I never saw him score on those chances.

Posted by: mauree | December 16, 2007 6:01 AM | Report abuse

I think I have an appropriate nickname for Quinton Laing. "Kamikaze." The guy reminds me of the way hockey was played in the 50's and 60's. Full speed ahead. Don't hold anything back. A totally "Hell's Bells" approach. All blood & guts. Full speed ahead. Don't leave ANYTHING in the tank. This guy's the real deal. No question! He's everything Boyd Gordon is advertised ( But, is not ) as being. And, I'll tell you what. He ain't going back to Hershey. You can book it! He'll be here as long as Gabby's the Head Coach. Did you notice who was on the ice during the very last minute of tonight's game? Dave Steckel, Ovey, and LAING!! BB was making a very loud statement. Talk about sending a message. Well, he certainly sent one with THAT move. And, I concurred completely.

Posted by: Puckguru | December 16, 2007 7:14 AM | Report abuse

Raber - "OV ends his point scoring streak and we still won." Good point ... I am certainly convinced!! Long live BB!!

Posted by: Anonymous | December 16, 2007 9:00 AM | Report abuse

Sounds like I missed a good game. This was a good one to win, too; in our conference. Sounds like it was good for Pothier to sit awhile. Maybe we should do that more often.

Posted by: Greg S. | December 16, 2007 9:12 AM | Report abuse

Semin wasn't hurt to my knowledge. He doesn't usually play much when the Caps are protecting a one goal lead late. He did take a few shifts in the third and I saw him on the bike after the game.

Posted by: Tarik | December 16, 2007 10:09 AM | Report abuse

Thank you Tarik.

Now tell him to play like a 4.5 M player

You are the men

Posted by: Mike | December 16, 2007 10:18 AM | Report abuse

Terrific, hard-fought win. Well done for the whole team. Looked like total concentration except for the first goal, but the poor guy has been sitting for what, two weeks now? Johnny played progressively better as the game went on. Hope Semin gets going, because these games would be a lot easier on the old ticker.

H*** yes, Laing can stay. I get tired just watching him work.

Posted by: Old Bob | December 16, 2007 10:26 AM | Report abuse

Man, that was one ugly game last night. I still can't believe they won.

Posted by: Clarendon | December 16, 2007 10:41 AM | Report abuse

There are no points for style, just wins (c: Glad to see Flash back in the lineup! My guess is when Clark and/or Gordon are ready to come back, Koz will sit for a little while. He seems to be just on the cusp of breaking put and doning something, but nope. Just a mirage (c: The 3rd line is a good place for him. For the time bing at least

Posted by: CantMissKid | December 16, 2007 12:00 PM | Report abuse

Missed the game last night. Sounds like a good one. Oooh I can't wait to see what we do in Hockeytown!

Posted by: kevbpgc | December 16, 2007 1:21 PM | Report abuse

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